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Holding deal on pay rises

UNIONS and the local authorities agreed a 2.5 per cent pay increase last week, as predicted in The TES Scotland on April 28. The award was greeted with disappointment even by the negotiators but is seen by both sides as a downpayment pending the report of the McCrone inquiry, due at the end of this month.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said a "deeply disappointing" settlement confirmed that councils had abandoned any pretence that they can deliver fair and competitive salaies. Teacher shortages would accelerate, undermining the Scottish Executive's schools improvement agenda.

Norman Murray, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, praised the unions for a "mature approach" in acknowledging it was the seventh year ministers had made no allowance for funding council pay rises.

The deal means graduate teachers will start out on pound;14,550, an increase of pound;354, while the maximum pay for unpromoted teachers will be pound;23,313, up by pound;570.

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